On This Date in Legal History

On March 1, 2005, the United States Supreme Court decided Roper v. Simmons. The case involved a high school student, Christopher Simmons, who confessed to a murder and was tried and sentenced to death. He was 17 at the time. The Supreme Court held that the execution of juvenile offenders, younger than 18 when the crime was committed, violated the Eighth Amendment. So Christopher Simmons’ death sentence was overturned. Justice Kennedy, who authored the Court’s opinion, remarked that a majority of states had already banned the execution of juveniles under 18. In fact, the world frowned upon it. He wrote, “Our determination that the death penalty is disproportionate punishment for offenders under 18 finds confirmation in the stark reality that the United States is the only country in the world that continues to give official sanction to the juvenile death penalty.” You can listen to the attorneys argue this case before the Supreme Court at https://goo.gl/xd6lBr.

Also on this date, but in 1954, the Senate confirmed Earl Warren as the 14th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Read more at https://goo.gl/rj370p.


Busts of all former Chief Justices are exhibited in the Great Hall at the Supreme Court

About Tina Nelson
Tina Nelson

Tina Nelson is an attorney and mom. She created the LAWSUIT™ board game to teach her three children about the law. The game was an instant success. Copyrights and a patent were obtained, and Professional Games, Inc. was born. Professional Games, Inc. created this blog to educate and keep its friends and customers regularly updated about our American legal system.
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